The mission of the Chemistry program at Philadelphia University is to provide a high quality, rigorous curriculum, accredited by the American Chemical Society, that prepares our undergraduate students for the disciplines of chemistry and biochemistry where critical and analytical thinking skills, collaboration, innovation and a yearning for discovery are essential traits. Our stimulating and supportive environment allows students to grow intellectually and professionally through a curriculum that stresses thorough understanding of chemical concepts and principles while developing essential practical, hands-on skills through laboratory experiences such as faculty-lead research and laboratory-based courses. In addition, the mission of the University ensures that our graduates not only possess the essential mathematical and scientific skills to be successful in the chemical and biochemical disciplines, but they also become lifelong, community-engaged learners as a result of our rigorous college studies curricula.
Program Learning Outcomes
Graduates from the chemistry major will:
- Describe the fundamental laws and theories of chemistry pertaining to the properties of matter, chemical reactions and their stoichiometry, properties of gases, solution chemistry and acid and base chemistry.
- Describe the chemistry of organic molecules including functional group structure and properties, structure and stereochemistry of alkanes, nucleophilic substitution and elimination reactions of allyl halides, the structure/synthesis/reactions of alkenes, alcohols, aromatic compounds, aldehydes and ketones.
- Summarize chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and quantum mechanics and relate this information to modern day chemistry.
- Develop the language, terms and critical thinking/problem solving skills to use, understand and trouble-shoot analytical instrumentation used in chemistry and biochemistry today.
- Acquire the necessary “bench top” laboratory skills, including knowledge of laboratory safety and behavior, to be functional with laboratory equipment and techniques.
- Describe the utility and history of inorganic chemistry including atomic structure, simple bonding theory, symmetry and group theory, coordination chemistry and molecular orbital theory.
- Describe metabolism (including signaling mechanisms, basic biochemistry of DNA and RNA and mechanisms of control of gene expression), protein structure-function and laboratory techniques used in biochemical research.
- Garner information and critically analyze information (Information Literacy skills in general).
- Effectively communicate in written formats germane to the sciences.
- Successfully use their garnered research skills to probe new avenues of scientific inquiry.
The Bachelor of Science in Chemistry, accredited by the American Chemical Society (ACS), not only prepares students for careers in research, development or production in the chemical industry, but also for advanced study in graduate and/or medical school.
The two options within this program, chemistry and environmental science, provide the student the opportunity to investigate and to research developments in modern chemistry. Upper-level chemistry majors may work with a faculty member on a research project of mutual interest. As a result of these projects, some of the students have seen their work presented in national meetings and published in scholarly journals. The University maintains close ties with the ACS, which welcomes information about student research at its regular meetings.
By working with faculty on real projects, students learn how to complete each step of an independent research project that leads to the production of a scientific report suitable for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Recent faculty-student partnerships have led to joint presentations at national conferences in Atlanta, Toronto, Denver, San Diego and New Orleans.
Chemistry affects our daily lives more than most people realize. From the paint we use to decorate our homes and the dyes used to create patterns in everyday items such as apparel and home furnishings, to the antibiotics prescribed to us by our doctors, experienced chemists are needed to produce many of the practical, revolutionary and necessary goods we often take for granted. Field-related research and experience are offered as part of the University’s Chemistry major, preparing graduates for an abundance of career opportunities. Chemistry majors maintain a consistently high placement rate in major-related careers and graduate school programs. Large pharmaceutical and chemical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, McNeil Laboratories, Rohm and Haas, Merck and DuPont hire our students to become research chemists, managers and associates based on their outstanding classroom and laboratory experience and extensive research work, beginning as early as the freshman year. Faculty-student research partnerships are an important part of the program.
Students have the option of choosing advanced study in Chemistry or Environmental Science.